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The Benefits of Adaptogens + How to Add Them To Your Diet - Clean Eating Magazine

The Benefits of Adaptogens

Curious about adaptogens? Find out how to safely implement them into your clean-eating routine – 
they can help manage stress, fight fatigue and improve mental performance, among other 
health-boosting benefits.
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Adaptogenic herbs help improve the health of your adrenal system, which is responsible for managing your body’s hormonal response to stress. “Adaptogens can calm you down and boost your energy at the same time without overstimulating,” says Frank Lipman, MD, founder and director of Eleven-Eleven Wellness Center in New York City and a pioneer of integrative and functional medicine. “They work a bit like a thermostat for the body. When the thermostat senses that the room temperature is too high, it brings it down; when the temperature is too low, it brings it up.” To get started, here are several adaptogens you may want to consider implementing into your routine:

Asian Ginseng

Helps the body in its ability to handle stress; enhances mental function; promotes a sense of well-being; may help protect against cancer. Dose: 100 to 200 milligrams per day of a standardized extract. Most standardized ginseng extracts supply approximately 4 to 7% ginsenosides. Or try 1 to 2 grams per day of the dried, powdered root, usually taken in gelatin capsules.

Rhodiola

Relieves anxiety and depression; combats aging; helps control cortisol levels; reduces mental and physical fatigue; aids in cellular energy metabolism and brain function.
Dose: 200 to 600 milligrams per day of a Rhodiola rosea extract standardized to contain 2 to 3% rosavins and 0.8 to 1% salidroside. Or 2 to 3 grams per day of the nonstandardized root.

Ashwagandha

Eases anxiety; strengthens the immune system; increases energy and endurance; enhances endocrine function, especially in the thyroid and adrenal glands. Dose: 3 to 6 grams per day of the dried root.

Eleuthero

Helps improve memory, feelings of well-being and mild depression. Dose: 2 to 3 grams per day of the dried root.

As with all herbal and supplemental regimens, CE suggests consulting with your health-care provider to discuss any potential interactions or health conditions before taking adaptogenic herbs. For instance, some adaptogens can be dangerous if you have high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or are pregnant. It is important to find the right dosage for you depending on your wellness goals and state of health. You can find adaptogenic herbs at bewellbydrfranklipman.com and at natural health stores.

See also The Mood Boosting Benefits of Food.